Friday, 2 November 2012

Depth of Field - Sally Mann

Born in 1951 in Virginia, Sally Mann is one of America's most renowned photographers and has received critical acclaim for her Immediate Family series.  This was a series of portraits of her children, often in the nude and taken outside.  The images have a dark and moody and sometimes unsettling feel to them.  Even though portraits of children, they have a very grown up feel to them - often demonstrating the loss if innocence.  The images are quite hypnotic in a way and draws you in to look further and beyond what you're seeing.    

Sally Mann's fascination with controversial subjects like death, decay, mortality and the human body is evident in most of her images.  Non more so than in her fifth book titled What Remains.  Her photography can appear very morbid and haunting for the viewer to digest, and provoke some strong reactions.  Her images challenges you to question your own fears of subjects like death and mortality and brings it all to the forefront - there's no hiding away from the reality of life and death. 
The imges below focus strongly on the faces of the children - their expressions, their body posture and their little individual personalities.  I don't feel they're quite reflective of what a typical image of a child should look like or the perception we have of how childrens images should be.  Shallow depth of field allows the viewer to be transfixed on the faces of the children and concentrate less on the background.          

This is one of my favourite images of the three children - adopting a very defiant stance - showing their strong characters 

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